Winnipegger bought guns legally, sold them to gangs

Winnipegger bought guns legally, sold them to gangs

A Winnipeg man is facing a lengthy penitentiary sentence after admitting to selling firearms to local gang members.

Theodore Mantas, 35, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of possession of restricted firearms for the purposes of trafficking. Mantas' guilty plea came on what was to be the first day of his jury trial.

According to an agreed statement of facts provided to court, Mantas legally purchased 25 restricted and non-restricted firearms between 2012 and 2013, three of which were later recovered from the home of a Mad Cowz gang member and the fourth at the scene of a gang-related shooting. The remaining 21 guns have not been found.

Mantas "was involved in a long-term plan with multiple persons involved in organized crime in Winnipeg to traffic the firearms he had legally acquired, and as such was a straw purchaser," says the agreed statement of facts.

Mantas also trafficked in firearms magazines and ammunition.

In November 2013, Mantas contacted an RCMP chief firearms officer seeking permission to move 21 restricted firearms to his new home, knowing "that his request was fraudulent because he was not in possession of any of his 21 restricted firearms," says the agreed statement of facts.

Crown and defence lawyers are jointly recommending Mantas be sentenced to six years in prison.

Mantas is out of custody and will return to court for sentencing next month.